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Kids just aren’t as scared of summer camp as they used to be. Maybe it’s because they aren’t even going away to summer camp unless forced to by the state.

Still, the nostalgia of summer camp is enough to help us begin our Summer Camp Slasher Series, a tribute to horror movies featuring campers, camp counselors, and the maniacs who murder them.

We continue this summer horror series than with Friday the 13th Part 3.

Paramount Pictures

Movie: Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Plot: After failing to kill Ginny Fields but succeeding in making everyone forget about Paul Holt and Ted (still at large), Jason Voorhees continues his serial-killing rampage with a group of college kids vacationing for the summer. Coincidentally, one of the girls has a history with Mr. Voorhees that she is attempting to forget.

Killer: Jason Voorhees, new and improved with hockey mask and hairless, streamlined head.

Critique: As far as slashers go, Friday the 13th Part 3 is kind of erratic. Not as far as kills, of course. Any movie where one guy doing a hand-stand is almost split in half by a machete and another guy’s head is crushed with such force that an eyeball pops out clearly didn’t pull any punches on gore. The movie just tries to restart the Friday the 13th franchise by glossing over most of Part 2. After fighting with Ginny Fields, Jason apparently goes to the general store so he can kill two more people, shave his head and beard so he looks more like a walking, mutated penis than a murderous Grizzly Adams, and puts on some new clothes.

I’m sorry. My bad. Jason doesn’t shave because, as we see in Chris’ flashback, Jason was always hairless, especially 2 years ago when Jason attacked Chris in the woods. That means that the killer in Part 2 was an impostor!  It all makes sense now! I have solved the riddle of life, the universe, and everything!

The 3-D effects were also annoying. I’m sure everything looked awesome at the drive-in when real 3-D effects were used, but the DVD production’s use of fake, camera-focus 3-D effects were just sloppy-looking. Shots like a chain-fist through a window, a snake, an eyeball popping out, a harpoon being shot, and a baseball bat being swung by some punk kid thrown in there to make sure everyone knew this was a 3-D movie. What made matters worse was that, to make use of their faux 3-D, the scenes had to be frozen live so that the camera could focus on the item popping out. this means that Ali’s fist had to stay in-frame much longer than it would have taken Shelly to step on the gas and cause Ali to have the arm ripped off by glass and sheer force.

The only good thing to really come out of the movie, besides the kills, was that Jason found his hockey mask and his identity as a monster movie icon. That has to count for something.

Paramount Pictures

Scene of Awesomeness: Shelly stumbles into the kitchen with his throat slashed, pleading for help. Chili, thinking that Shelly is just playing another “I’m dying!” prank, barely gives him a thought as he dies. Hey, she’s making popcorn. A person has priorities.

Scene of Ridiculousness: Just when you think Chris is doomed to be slaughtered by Jason, biker bully Ali comes out of nowhere to get one good hit on Jason before being chopped to bits, proving that, if you don’t see blood, chances are a character isn’t dead.

Body Count: 12

1 meat cleaver to the chest

1 sewing needle to the back of the neck

1 pitchfork to the neck

1 pitchfork to the stomach

1 spear-gun shot to the eye

1 body split almost in half by machete

1 knife through the chest…from the back

1 throat slashed

1 electrocution by fuse box

1 red-hot poker through the stomach

1 bare-handed head crush, complete with pop-out eyeball (Awesomely Overkill Award)

Paramount Pictures

1 hand cut off along with what sounds like complete dismemberment

1 pair of breasts

Actors/Actresses of Note: It’s a toss up. Catherine Parks (who plays Vera Sanchez, Shelly’s “date”) went on to play Bernie Lomax’ jealous mistress in Weekend at Bernie’s. However, Nick Savage (who plays head biker, Ali) went on to Oscar-worthy performances such as “Bouncer #1” in the original Fright Night and Prince Akeem’s tooth-brusher in the Eddie Murphy movie, Coming to America.

Quote: They said they were going skinny-dipping. I’m not skinny enough.“- Shelly

Grade: C+

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By Pat Emmel

Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.

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